With the 550th birthday celebrations of the birth of Guru Nanak, a Surrey family has decided to start a fundraising campaign for the Children’s Health Centre renewal at Surrey Memorial Hospital.
Bob Hans, who lives and works in Surrey, and his family have put forward the first donation – $125,000.
The fundraising campaign will be live online for 55 days, a connection to the 550th celebrations, Hans said.
Hans said the foundations of the Sikh faith, of which Guru Nanak is the founder, is “sharing and caring and equality.”
“Guru Nanak emphasized the importance of equality of mankind. With this in mind, our family wanted to host a fundraiser that was available to everyone. Using this online format allows anyone, anywhere, to give what they are able,” he said.
“Hopefully more people can join and it can be a bit more money raised that way.”
The fundraising campaign, Hans said, has a goal of $250,000.
“But I have no doubt in my mind we will pass $550,000 because it’s the 550th birthday… I don’t see that big of a problem to reach that goal if everybody opens their heart.”
Jane Adams, the Surrey Hospital Foundation’s president and CEO, said donating online allows everyone, “no matter where they live or what their circumstances are,” to participate in fundraising.
“I think that was really fundamental to the founder of Sikhism, was sort of the universality of the religion and the fact that everyone is sort of equal and should have an opportunity to participate,” she said.
She said the online fundraising aspect is “very novel.”
“Charities for a long time, had the idea of having birthday pages, but to take a birthday that has such significance for 27 million people around the world and think locally, thinking globally and thinking locally, I think that was very unique,” Adams said.
“It has spiritual significance, global significance, local significance, but it also has an element of fun. I think when people give money, they live to be attached to something that’s positive and fun, and of course, it’s paying it forward to our kids.
The Surrey Hospital Foundation is raising $6 million for a $15-million renewal project for the hospital’s Children’s Health Centre.
The renewal will include creating a larger, family-friendly space with more clinics for outpatients and a dedicated area for kids who need day-care procedures, as well as more patient rooms available for children during overnight stays.
Adams said the project is meant to help meet the increasing number of health needs with the increasing number of children that use the hospital’s services. She said Surrey has more children than any other community in B.C.
“With the Hans family gift, we’ve nudged over our halfway-point. We’re at about $3.3 million.”
To donate, click surreyhospitalfoundation.akaraisin.com/hansfamily/gurpurab. The fundraising page will be available until Nov. 13.